Shab’a, Lebanon, Feb 27: India is one of the pioneering force in peacekeeping missions of UN. India with her message of peace, contribute largely to peacekeeping forces of UN which are operational in various parts of the world.
UNIFIL, or United Nations Interm Force In Lebanon works for the establishment of peace and security in south Lebanon. Indian peacekeepers also involved in UNIFIL.
As storms, Norma and Miriam lashed Lebanon last week, piles of snow carpeted mountains. Within UNIFIL’s area of operation in south-eastern Lebanon, mountainous areas suddenly turned white. Despite icy conditions, UNIFIL peacekeepers continued their daily activities.
Despite fog and snow, UN peacekeepers from India and Kazakhstan continued with daily foot and vehicle patrols in Shab’a and other affected areas.
With 6,700 troops in various UN peace operations worldwide, India currently is the third largest contributor to the UN Peacekeeping. It has some 900 peacekeepers with UNIFIL – one of the largest among 41 contributors. Five Indian soldiers have lost their lives in the line of duty in UNIFIL.
In the early 1970s, tension along the Israel-Lebanon border increased, especially after the relocation of Palestinian armed elements from Jordan to Lebanon. Palestinian commando operations against Israel and Israeli reprisals against Palestinian bases in Lebanon intensified. On 11 March 1978, a commando attack in Israel resulted in many dead and wounded among the Israeli population; the Palestine Liberation Organization (PLO) claimed responsibility for that raid. In response, Israeli forces invaded Lebanon on the night of 14/15 March, and in a few days occupied the entire southern part of the country except for the city of Tyre and its surrounding area.
After, the Security Council also decided, in the light of the request of the Government of Lebanon, to establish immediately a United Nations interim force for southern Lebanon. This interim force was created for three broadly defined purposes: Confirming the withdrawal of Israeli forces; Restoring international peace and security; Assisting the Government of Lebanon in ensuring the return of its effective authority in the area.